Peace and Quiet in Pasadena
ancestors had lived. I graciously accepted additional transportation costs and lack of city conveniences, for after retirement peace and quiet become very desirable. My automobile experience has been very uneventful.
I realize that Mary Pat Clarke and others live by the law of "get elected no matter what." If third parties get stuck with the bill so that their electorate can have a subsidized ride, so be it.
A somewhat similar situation exists with "red-lining," which is where areas that are high in real estate loan losses are avoided or charged a high rate by lenders. This is called discrimination against poor people or even racism, not the reflection of the business reality that it is.
Elected officials don't solve problems or give true leadership these days. They just cover a problem, bury it under money and send the bill to someone else. With a little luck you will be re-elected until you mummify, as the re-election rate shows.
Paul E. Keagle.
Pasadena. Editor: A few days ago a fund-raising letter from Rep. Tom McMillen, D-Md., came to my home. I was shocked by the half-truths and omissions it contained.
Mr. McMillen stated that he has done an exemplary job in solving the S&L; mess. The truth, however, is that Mr. McMillen has been in the pocket of S&L; interests ever since he entered Congress.
Already, according the Common Cause, he has received over $20,000 in savings and loan PAC money. His 1987 House Banking Committee vote to reduce the S&L; bailout funds will cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Clearly, he is not serving the interests of his constituents on the S&L; issue.
Mr. McMillen stated that he is concerned about the federal budget deficit. That is a laugh, since he is one of Congress's biggest spenders.
He has voted against efforts to trim expenditures. He has voted for funding increases greater than what President Bush has asked for. He has voted for sugar subsidies to the tune of $1.9 billion. (Where are Maryland's sugar fields?)
Clearly, Mr. McMillen's stated position on the budget deficit is inconsistent with his voting record.
Mr. McMillen stated that he is in favor of campaign reform. This is easy for him to say, since he has already received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the PACs that bankroll him.
If Mr. McMillen is sincere about campaign reform, he ought to give what PAC money he has raised to charity and refuse to accept any more. If not, then his position on campaign reform is hard to believe.
Finally, Mr. McMillen writes, "People power is the backbone of my campaign." Really? I thought that the backbone of his campaign was banks, insurance companies, savings and loans and sugar producers. After all, he serves them much better than he serves the voters of Maryland's 4th Congressional District.
Teach the History
Editor: Paul Slepian, in his September 17 letter dismissing any value in the study of ancient Egyptian history, perpetuates the deliberate denial of the fundamental contributions made by early, even pre-Egyptian, civilizations. While much remains to be learned about those contributions, many of the accomplishments still cannot be duplicated or explained by modern science and engineering, for example.
Surely, Mr Slepian must have taught his classes that the construction of the pyramids required a high degree of skill in geometry and theoretical mathematics in addition to remarkable engineering capabilities. The Japanese, for example, were unable to duplicate the construction using modern equipment. Can he have failed to refer to the general mathematical principles elucidated in Rhind Mathematical Papyrus 61B?
The Greeks unabashedly acknowledged their debt in science, medicine and philosophy to the "black-skinned (race with) woolly hair' in Africa (Herodotus). It was only in the 1830s that European historians began revising those findings to deny the contributions of African civilizations.
For me, growing up in Baltimore with a peculiarly venal pattern of segregation, the knowledge of such contributions would have been tremendously inspiring. I feel sure that many more of my classmates and contemporaries at Douglass High would have been encouraged to pursue careers in science and philosophy with such knowledge.
Now that blacks growing up in Baltimore may be even more confused by the outward trappings of integrated education in counterpoint to the reality of the gross economic and social disdain in which we are held, a knowledge of the accomplishments of African civilizations might literall be life-saving. It has made a significant difference to me, even late in a career.
Frederick I. Scott Jr.
Editor: Question: If the Baltimore city schools emphasize an "Afro-centric" curriculum while the state of Maryland remains wedded to a "Euro-centric" one, won't this put city students at a disadvantage when it comes time to take the state functional exams, which they must pass in order to graduate?
Hopefully, this question won't be inadvertently overlooked when the soon-to-be-announced task force on curriculum gets down to business.
Price of Intellect
Editor: I am delighted that college presidents are being paid a salary commensurate with their great responsiblity which cannot measured in currency. In many institutions the athletic directors and coaches are paid a far greater salary than the college president. It is a myth that the athletic programs are a source of income for the colleges and universities and using that argument to justify this inequity does not hold up. The fact that millions of dollars are paid to professional athletes, movie stars, rock singers and so-called "television celebrites' does not arouse any indignation. Apart from entertainment of dubious value, these people provide nothing to society. In many instances they are poor role models. Their influence on the younger generation is often detrimental and inculcates the wrong values. They are here today and gone tomorrow leaving no intellectual footprints although the memories of some are perpetuated in the halls of fame or other forms of idolatry. The scholars, scientists and artists perpetuate their memory by their own accomplishments and the products of their labors truly benefit society.
Yes sir, a college president is a very good value at $200,000 or more per year. A society that does not appreciate this has no soul.
Brian S. Briscoe
Editor: A correspondent wrote that he recently came home from England where gasoline was over $4 a gallon. I wish to point out that the English gallon of liquid measurement, which is commonly known as the Imperial gallon and is used world-wide, is larger than ours. It is equivalent to 1.25 U.S. gallons.
A London acquaintance informs me that there are 20 ounces in an English pint compared to 16 ounces in the U.S. pint. Consequently, the English gallon is 160 ounces compared to 128 ounces in the U.S. gallon. This makes the English gallon 32 ounces greater, which converts to 1 (American) quart more.
Another factor that has to be taken into account when comparing gasoline prices is the fluctuating exchange rate. This problem is for the mathematicians to figure out.